As a rule, I pooh-pooh blogging about other blogs. It gives me the media heebie jeebies. I equate blogging about blogs to TV shows about radio shows, movies about newspapers or any combination you can think of. There’s just something not right about it. However, after reading the comments on Belgian pro Christine Vardaros’ blog about an entry titled “Just an average CX training day in Belgium,” (great article about running into Mario De Clercq on a CX practice loop) I noticed a nugget of supreme importance. This tiny little piece of information is at the root of a debate between me and nearly ever single crosser I know. It’s something that you may discover on your own. However, you would never know it with 100 percent of your soul unless you had a Belgian cyclocross coach, had complete disregard for sounding too naïve to ask a pro…or had to execute a perfect dismount in front of cyclocross god Mario De Clercq. Luckily, Christine (pictured left: photo from her blog) had to do just that and one such reader, at the risk of sounding naïve, had the cowbells to toss the question out there for the world to see. GCDavid was the first to comment on the post. Of all the things that could be said or asked about running into Mario DeClercq while practicing CX in Belgium, his question was simple. “Dismount: right leg behind left or in front of left??”
I whacked my computer hoping it would make a sound on Christine’s end and get her attention to answer. “Peanut? Are you there? GCDavid has a question of utmost importance. Whack!” Seven hours passed before she answered. With her blog minimized on my computer, I nearly had an aneurism waiting. Then, the epiphany posted.
In the comments of this entry on her blog, Christine Vardaros says the following regarding how you should step when dismounting your cyclocross bike, especially when you’re doing it in front of CX hero Mario De Clercq. I hope you are sitting down, because the ceiling is about to open with pretty white Belgian angels and cherubs flying around playing harp music:
“Right foot in front of left when you are doing a high speed flat dismount. Your right foot serves as the first step of the run. And the right food steps behind left when you are getting off at slower speed or on an uphill. Hope that helps.”
Hope that helps??!! Oh my god woman! You are a saint! (A little peanut shaped fast cyclocrossing saint) And, thank you GCDavid, wherever you are, for having a big set of jangly cowbells to ask.
My buddy and BioWheels/Reece-Campbell teammate Tony and I have been debating this as if should be one way or the other. He watches so many cross videos on Belgium Knee Warmers blog and Crosstube.net that his girlfriend probably wishes it was porn. He insists the “right foot behind” is the faster way. However, “right foot in front” is second nature to me and therefore faster for me. So our rule has been whatever is faster for you…until now.
Alas, Christine has pointed out that both ways have their place and are faster given the situation and an ungodly amount of practice in front of cyclocross gods like Mario De Clercq. And, my guess (as a person with a degree in broadcasting) is that most CX dismount videos are shot at a slower portion of the course where it’s easier to film the riders for a longer period of time and consequently the “right foot behind” dismount is the one that is most prevalent on the videos.